MA Design Futures – Batik Scarf Project (April 2018)


Alongside my exploratory research for my Design Futures Masters, I was determined to build upon Textiles skills developed during my undergraduate degree. To kick start my practical development, I decided to emerge myself in a batik project. As part of my research I have asked the question, What is a surface? Along with Why is the original surface inadequate? As a surface designer I find that I’m drawn to both colour and the idea of pattern, resulting in me looking for objects with an applied decorative layer of some sort. So to me a surface is an opportunity to creatively document the places I encounter everyday and when travelling.

Batik (wax drawing) is a simple Indonesian resist techniquethat requires the maker to first melt hot wax until it’s a trans-parent liquid consistency, before then using a tjanting tool todraw with the wax over a surface. In my case I decided to draw using the hot wax directly onto white silk bamboo fabric. The hot wax consitancy requires the handler to work at a steady pace, yet quick enough to not let the wax cool too much, but also at a speed where precision isn’t rushed.

My inspirations for this collection of 4 scarfs, were flowers and leaves linocut by myself shortly after a study trip to Jaipur, India, mixed with lines from an earlier mark making session. What I appreciate about the batik and silk painting method, is that it’s all up to trial and error in the beginning, which pushes you as a maker to be more experimental.